Airline continues to face challenges BUT one story of a resort in Marau is uplifting

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Solomon Airlines Chairman Frank Wickham today reveals the national carrier’s struggles and though the pandemic has an adverse effect—not all is gloom.

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The airline has continued to fly and charters is now its mainstay to keep it going.

It was also revealed today that the significant portion of the airline’s money comes from charters, whilst domestically the Umi Together Holidays (UTH) initiative has seen significant contributions to the airline’s coffers.

With domestic operations now only at 60% of what it used to be, the airline has seen growth in the UTH with the curve of Honiara residents going into the rural country for holidays shooting north (up).

Manager, Commercial at Solomon Airlines, Collin Sigimanu said the UTH holiday packages have really taken off and they become very popular.

He said the private sector initially made use of it to visit the domestic destinations but with the public service now coming on board “we have now seen a marked increase in travel”.

Under the initiative, public offers can use their holiday benefits to travel to one of the local destinations under the UTH programme that fits their budget.

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Sigimanu adds that in fact, Milk Fish, which is a resort in Marau, East Guadalcanal has been totally booked out for December and January.

Sigimanu said that the entry of public servants in the programmed has been very good.

“Our forward booking profile graph is actually going north. This sort of initiative has really helped us with our revenue and our cash flow and also positive sign for our struggling operators in the provinces.

“Its assists them in the absence of international tourists coming here,” he said.

Sigimanu is optimistic that more and more of our “unknown operators” will start receiving clients under the holiday imitative

“They are struggling to survive and UTH is assisting them to generate the much needed revenue to sustain and maintain their facilities,” said Sigimanu.

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